A lot has been in the news about Alabama and same-sex marriage. Chief Justice Roy Moore has been interviewed by several different networks and covered by thousands of newspapers. The video above was an epic interview on CNN that Moore did with Chris Cuomo. I watched that interview live as it happened, and I still can’t believe what I witnessed.
I understand Judge Moore’s stance quite well. We’re from the same hometown, and I was even summoned to jury duty when he was a circuit court judge in Etowah County. Back then, he had the 10 Commandments on display in his courtroom, so I find it hard to believe that his stances are not because of his deeply held religious beliefs.
In this interview, he talked States’ Rights, and for me, that is a flashing red warning light. Alabama’s history with defending States’ Rights should be enough to give anyone pause when that defense is trotted out for being against same-sex marriage. If your religion is why you’re against it, then I understand. If you just think that same-sex marriages are icky, then I can understand that too. The States’ Rights thing, however, gives the impression of nothing more than another minority group that’s been targeted for discrimination against because everyone else is protected.
The 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution reads, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” This is the basis for claiming States’ Rights. What Moore and others forget is the 9th Amendment which says, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” Claiming that marriage isn’t written into the Constitution does not necessarily mean that it is not a right protected by the Constitution. If Moore indeed believes that our rights come from God and marriage was granted by God, then the right to get married is protected by the Constitution.
Moore lost me in the debate when he tried to deflect to Dred Scott and Plessy v Ferguson. That was a red herring of epic proportions. Neither one of those cases have anything to do with the debate on same-sex marriage. If anything, the arguments against same-sex marriage mirror Loving v Virginia, and we’ve seen how that debate ended. For lack of a better term, Moore’s standing in the courtroom doorway trying to block the inevitable. Standing still has never stopped the progression of time, and this case is no different.
Alabama is #37 on the list of states where same-sex marriages is now legal. When that date passed, I wanted to write something sooo bad, but I made myself wait for a specific reason. It’s been more than a week now, and Alabama is still in existence. There has been no plague, no flood, or fire raining down from the heavens to destroy the state. I haven’t seen any change in my marriage since the ruling went into effect either. The sun still rises in the east and sets in the west.
Sure, there are people with deeply held religious beliefs that are upset at the ruling. Thing is, America may be overwhelmingly Christian in beliefs, but we do not have a national religion for a reason. This is not a theocratic country, and people cannot be forced to live by the beliefs of the majority. Our Founding Fathers ensured that the majority would never be able to run roughshod over the minority. I’m just happy to see that Alabama isn’t #49 or #50 for once. Growing up in a state that is usually at the bottom of most lists, it’s good to see Alabama sitting outside the bottom 10.